by Janelle Norville, GIS
Saint Lucia recently hosted the first ever forum of the Caribbean Nationally Determined Contributions Finance Initiatives (NDC FI).
Under the Paris Climate Agreement adopted at COP21, countries all agreed to contribute to the global climate effort. Their respective commitments were expressed in nationally determined contributions (NDCs). These NDCs contain emissions reductions and adaptation goals and targets. Many Caribbean NDCs focus on areas such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean transportation, water, climate-smart agriculture and critical infrastructure.
The NDC FI is described as a mechanism and process geared towards assisting participating countries to mobilize finance and resources in an effort to build resilience, mitigation and adaptation. The forum is being convened under the theme "Caribbean Climate Leadership: Accelerating NDC Implementation". While Caribbean governments have taken meaningful steps towards fulfilling their NDC targets, success will best be achieved through robust support and effective partnerships with development partners, regional governments and the private sector.
The NDC Finance Initiative (NDC FI) is intended to catalyze regional NDC implementation by unlocking investment opportunities in the various sectors, while supporting the transition to more resilient economies. The NDC FI was launched in September 2017, and is initially envisioned as a three-year process. One of the critical milestones is the First NDC Investment Forum.
Director General of the OECS H.E Dr. Didacus Jules highlighted the importance of taking the necessary steps to confront climate change. Objectives include generating a roadmap for NDC implementation and investment until 2020, identifying and validating key NDC investment sectors and sub-sectors, addressing implementation barriers and processes for updating NDCs, linking them with national needs for mitigation, adaptation and their co-benefits and establishing a process for project pipeline development and matchmaking with potential investors.
According to Minister for Sustainable Development, Hon. Dr. Gale Rigobert it is also important to identify and engage development partners to support NDC implementation and to establish a network of sector experts, development partners, potential investors and other stakeholders with a view to building new partnerships and catalyzing investments.
Many countries, especially Small Island Developing States (SIDS) continue to struggle to obtain financing to undertake projects aimed at building resilience, adaption and mitigation in the face of climate change. It is hoped that the Nationally Determined Contributions Finance Initiative could catalyze investments and mobilize the private sector in the transition to resilient, low carbon economies in the Caribbean region. At the very first every NDC FI Forum sponsors reaffirmed their support to the cause. The Federal Republic of Germany has also thrown its support behind the initiative.
The forum brought together ministers and technical experts from OECS and other CARICOM member states and representatives of regional institutions, development partner organizations and the regional and international private sectors. Together, they will work to address the investment and related challenges to NDC implementation and to decide on concrete action, going forward.